Diana Wong is a recent graduate of University of California Santa Cruz, with a major in Anthropology. Born in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico to Chinese immigrant parents, Diana arrived in the US at the age of 5. Her experience and identity was a struggle for most of her life, as she could not relate to her middle-class, U.S. citizen peers. All the while, Diana’s mother was working under the table jobs and her family was living in constant fear of making the wrong move and being separated by deportation.
A turning point in Diana’s life was when she joined a group of AB540 students at UC Santa Cruz, finding a community with which she felt comfortable to come forward and speak about her experience, as well as begin to understand that she could become involved in many ways. To be Chinese, Mexican, and live in the US afforded her with a unique perspective and experience that could help her transgress borders as she did her work.
Since then, Diana has been involved with the Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles, where she was the community engagement intern and learned to organize, lobby, and met many leaders of the immigrant movement. She has also worked with outreach at the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz, engaging underserved communities and using public institutions such as museums to be spaces for community building and empowerment. Ultimately, Diana would like to find her niche in nonprofit work and hopes to build her network wherever she may end up, so that she can continue to work to improve the lives of those in the US who are left out of the social, economic and civic aspects of society, and thus criminalized or left to fall through the cracks.
As a DreamSF Fellow, Diana’s placement is at Mission Asset Fund There, Diana is able to connect with local families, business owners, students, and other community members to offer them financial empowerment, and to bring them out of the financial and social shadows as they build credit. Her work at MAF will focus on building community and understanding the needs, stories, and hopes of the clients that come through.
Currently, Diana enjoys exploring San Francisco, and is thankful for the opportunity to work and engage in SF through the DreamSF Fellowship. In her free time, she enjoys gardening (vegetables and succulents), learning languages, visiting museums, walking dogs, and attending cultural events.